Burnley-Newcastle United Preview
Steve Bruce admits he feels as though he will never truly win over all of Newcastle United's supporters despite picking up some positive results.
United have been criticised for their style of play this term, having managed just three shots on target in their three Premier League matches. However, they have scored from each of those attempts and have four points from a possible nine, including late 1-1 draw in last week's meeting with Tottenham.
And Bruce is adamant he is working to find the right balance, with Burnley - so far without a point from their two league games - next up at St James' Park on Saturday.
"It's quite obvious if you've watched us in the last seven games we're trying to change," said Bruce, who is sweating on the fitness of defenders Jamaal Lascelles and Emil Krafth. "Does it feel like I can't win? Sometimes. The nature of the job is to get criticised and I accept it. But every manager needs time, even Jurgen Klopp did.
"We're trying to change a team that sit deep in a back five to a forward-thinking back four with two up top. It's still work in progress."
Newcastle required a late goal and a penalty shoot-out to overcome fourth-tier side Newport County in the EFL Cup in midweek, their reward being a quarter-final with Brentford.
Burnley were beaten 3-0 by Manchester City, meanwhile, and they have lost both league games so far in 2020-21 - going down 4-2 to Leicester City and 1-0 to Southampton. They have not started a league campaign with three straight defeats since 2003-04 and boss Sean Dyche is confident of climbing up the division once players return from injury.
"When those players are back fit, I think we're still one or two light, but we've got a squad I can look at and go 'that's a squad that knows its way round what we do here'," he said. "When you've had seven key injuries, that's a lot in any club's world, but it certainly is in ours."
Newcastle United - Karl Darlow
United's late draw against Tottenham would not have been possible if not for the 11 saves made by Darlow, who is filling in for injured regular first-choice keeper Martin Dubravka.
Unsurprisingly on the back of that display, the 29-year-old has made more saves than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League so far this season (18).
Burnley - Chris Wood
Wood has hit double figures in all three of his Premier League campaigns for Burnley and registered their first goal of the season in the opening-game loss to Leicester.
However, he has fired blanks in his three appearances in all competitions since then and will be looking to end that drought this weekend.
- Newcastle are unbeaten in their last seven home league games against Burnley (W3 D4), including all four meetings in the Premier League (W1 D3). Burnley's last league win at Newcastle was back in April 1976 (1-0).
- Burnley have kept a clean sheet in each of their last two Premier League meetings with Newcastle - as many as they had in their previous 14 top-flight matches against the Magpies.
- Newcastle have won just one of their last eight home league games (D4 L3), losing each of their last three in a row and conceding three goals each time. Only Crystal Palace (April 1998) and Fulham (March 2014) have ever lost four consecutive Premier League home games while conceding 3+ goals each time.
- Burnley have scored in each of their last five away Premier League games (W3 D1 L1), last having a longer run of finding the net on the road between April-October 2017 (seven games).
- Only goalless Sheffield United have a lower shot conversion rate than Burnley in the Premier League this season, with the Clarets netting just 7.7 per cent of their attempts so far (2/26).
Updated October 2, 2020